Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts
I recently finished reading this book and found it to be incredibly practical and tangible. They presented the latest research on many topics regarding marriage, shared relevant stories from their own lives, and gave an abundance of tools to actively pursue a healthy relationship. I appreciated the reflection questions at the end of each chapter. It’s one thing to read a book but another thing entirely to apply the information into day-to-day life. The book was structured in a way to make readers pause and find their own practical applications of the material.
In the chapter regarding developing a habit of happiness, Les talks about a time in college when his professor told him something he would never forget. “Our brains are programmed much like a computer. Just before we put any sound, sight, smell, taste, touch, or intuition into our mental computers, we stamp it as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. Then we store the sensation in our brains, and it permanently stays there. That’s why you can’t always remember a person’s name, but you can always remember how you felt about them. Unlike computers, however, humans develop a habit of programming their minds to be either mostly negative or mostly positive.”
Les at that point recognized, without even realizing it, he had developed a habit of stamping his circumstances as ‘negative’. Imagine how that can set someone up for misery. Imagine being married to someone who filters everything negatively!
“By force of habit, each of us is either basically positive or basically negative. Our circumstances change with the weather, but our attitudes stay the same. The negative person defends his attitudes with the rationale of being realistic, while the positive person looks beyond the current state of affairs and sees people and situations in terms of possibilities.” Problems arise not from circumstances but our interpretations.